What the heck is happening here ?

32 posts in this topic

Posted

Opened one of my Cobra cabinets and noticed this bad cracking on this die cast. It is an Ertl brand. All others are fin but this one has split very badly. I have another in kit form and that body is fine. Anyone else see this on one of their die cast ? Any idea what happened here ? Seems kind of weird to me. I have some much older in the same cabinet and they are fine. ???????

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Posted

A few years back there was a thread here about this- somebody had one of the 1:18 Hot Wheels diecasts (IIRC) which was literally falling apart. I can't seem to find that thread now...

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Posted

Weird. I wonder what is causing this. Seems funny. I have a few hundred die casts and this seems to be the only one with this problem. Maybe I better check my others more closely. I have a bunch still in the original box in cabinets in the garage that I did not look at. Not that there is anything I can do about it now. Could it just be the paint ?

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Posted

Ray if there not in heat and temp changes then it could be on the manufacturer. sometimes even older cars paint will crack if your temp is warm/hot then cold....

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Posted (edited)

Probably made from a bad batch of Zamak. It'll corrode and eventually cause the paint to flake off.

Edited by Brett Barrow

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Posted

Yep, diecast degeneration. Most common causes are humidity, and severe temp changes (causing humidity), oh yeah, and humidity. If you don't have central A/C, it works to run a de-humidifier. Some folks may dis-agree with me, but this is what I've found with my own experiences.

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Posted

It's just weird that out of the hundreds of cars I have this is the only one. I have another exactly like this one that is fine.

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Posted

I had an ERTL 1:18 scale Chevrolet Cameo Pick up that literally fell apart. Firts the doors just came of, the the paint started to follow from the truck, and in a couple of weeks the body was loosing pieces.

I have some diecasts, and the only ones that have no bubbles on the paint ar a '67 Fairlane by GMP, a '68 Mustang by Auto Art a '71 Lada by IST, and a '58 Edsel Bermuda by Dambury Mint. All others have at least some tiny bubbles on the paint.

My advice to you is to put your love on the plastic models. Another point in favor of them is the fact that you built them and not some diecast company.

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Posted

If it's only happening to one or two out of a large collection it's a bad batch of metal. In the model train hobby a few years ago whoever was supplying the metal to the train manufacture provided some tainted material. On a set of passenger cars one set of wheels would crumble and break while the other set was fine on the same car! Traced back to a bad batch of metal......manufacture had to replace them all. Nothing you can do now....

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Posted

Yeah, Ray, I'm no metalurgist, but that looks like disintigrating metal to me. If it's the ONLY one you got, I guess you should be thankful, cause even though I've never seen it on a DIE CAST MODEL, I have seen it happen to pot metal. I'd say you got a model cast from a bad patch of pot metal. I DON'T think theres much you can do with it. Be glad ya got TWO! Good move!

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Posted

It is bad diecast. I have had way too much experience with it. Moisture or temperature has nothing to do with the cause, although it may change the time it takes. There are certain diecast that this is a common on. The Ertl 69 Camaro cars are about the worst, some the entire runs fell apart. It starts out with what looks like uneven patches of diecast under the paint and kind of hard to see. Some will develop small blisters and some will just start cracking.

At one time I had a list that was put together by a group of us and there were a few hundred different 1/18 models on it.

The only thing you can do is use parts off of them to modify the ones that didn't fall apart.

I should add that paint rash is another serious issue but that is just the paint and can be buffed out if not too bad.

Very Sad!

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Posted

In your case, most likely a bad batch. I had it happen to a 1:18 '60 Ford.......that thing looked like a warped promo! I still say that humidity does play a role, but perhaps Tom is right, it may facilitate it's outbreak.

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Posted

The paint on the roof of my black 1/18 '60 Starliner is cracked and flaking off, but the rest of the car is mint, and the roof is plastic, try to figure that one out. Makes me mad, because the black version with dog dish hub caps was a hobby store exclusive and is kinda rare. At least I can repaint the roof... but I probably wont.

-MJS

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Posted

I stashed some of the Ertl 69 Camaros away in the original master carton when they came in new direct from Ertl. I had three each of the white with orange stripes and three of the orange with white stripes. The were up on the top shelf of our climate controlled stock room four about four years. I opened them and all the white one were cracked up in pieces and the orange ones were perfect. This has happened on numerous cars of mine where I packed them away when new and certain ones are now junk and other in the carton are fine.

Most times it's not the entire car. Some may be the doors and hood while others in the same run could be the body bad and the hood and doors are fine.

Here is a bad hood on a perfect car. You can see the rough finish and blisters. I broke this one with my thumb.

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Posted

It's a bad batch of diecast. I have a Franklin Mint 60 Rolls Royce that broke in many pieces just sitting on the shelf. Also a Kyosho Audi wagon that broke in half when somebody tried to open a doorand then the door fell off. The Rolls is a total loss and the Audi is glued with a do not touch sign on it. .

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Posted

if you contact the company most likely they will make good on the items. forget about danbury and Franklin mints i don't think you will have much luck there.

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Posted

yup bad metal only fix was coating the inside of the body with fiber glass resin, body work and respraying. its not worth it.

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Posted

Not too bad since it is only one out of my whole collection.................... so far.

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Posted

Just spotted this one on eBay tonight:

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Man, if I'd bought the thing new and saw it do this... Best thing would be to carefully paint it beige and call it a movie car from What's Up, Doc?.

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Posted

I was unable to open the link provided, but yes, as a longtime Diecast car collector, we call it Diecast cancer. After much debate on cause, it was determined that the metal mixture was incorrect to create diecast, and it would literately start from the inside out, as the diecast would swell, crack and crumble, or the Diecast was too brittle, and would not survive shipment. This is not new, as some original Hot Wheels from 1968 would get the same disease, and fall apart in the same manner as 1/18 scale. While I've been a diecast collector, for many years, and have had hundreds of cars, I've been luck enough to not experience this cancer in my collection. I know dozens of other collectors spread out through the United States, and location seems to make no difference. Hot, cold, dry, humidity doesn't seem to matter. But as AZTom pointed out, these may be a factor in how quickly it rears its ugly head. Although, the Ertl 69 Camaro seems to be one of the common diecast to get Cancer, I've had a few of the common ones that get it, and they have stayed perfect through the years.

 

Cheers,

Lance

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Posted

ZINC ROT is the semi official name for the issue.........think it's bad when your 1/18 car gets it??? Try a $2000 locomotive!! 

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Posted

The name of the alloy almost always used in diecast toys and models is Zamak, specifically Zamak-7, which is an alloy of zinc, aluminum and copper.  When properly made, this alloy is actually very strong, and quite stable (witness the literally millions of automobile door handles that have been made from the stuff!). but if the manufacturer of the raw alloy isn't careful, impurities can get into it, and that is what causes the disintegration you're seeing, called "intergranular corrosion".  The primary contaminants that can cause this corrosion are lead and iron, both of which can be found in say, scrap copper (solder used on copper plumbing used to contain a fair amount of lead, for example).

Yet, even though decades ago, people turned up their noses at anything made from this so-called "pot metal", one of its early uses in automobiles was the casting of carburetor bodies, followed by door handles, window cranks and dashboard knobs  Conscientious manufacturers who use this alloy for their products do insist on clean metals being used to make the Zamak they depend on, but occasionally (particularly overseas) contaminated scrap metals find their way into the making of Zamak ingots. But, when properly made, Zamak is quite stable, and has a pretty long life.  With say, diecast toy cars made primarily for children to play with, those have to undergo random testing before being shipped, to ensure that there is no lead in them, but I suspect that high-end diecasts aren't necessarily subject to that kind of screening, given their "adult collectible" status and marketing.

But, the long life of Zamak castings has put the lie to a statement made nearly 50 years ago by the then-President of the AACA, that nobody would ever try to preserve or restore post-1950 cars, due to all the "pot metal" components in them, most notably Zamak carburetors--he turned out to be badly mistaken!

Art

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Posted (edited)

That's weird. Sounds like a new case of the dreaded Zinc Past!  I thought that problem was gone decades ago.  Here is a good explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc_pest I guess with all those the products coming from China the quality control and the purity of metals used can be questionable. After all, these are just toys.

Edited by peteski

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Posted (edited)

... I guess with all those the products coming from China the quality control and the purity of metals used can be questionable. After all, these are just toys...

Yeah, and you ought to see what I come across on REAL car parts from the mysterious inscrutable East. Things like suspension control arms that are SUPPOSED to be FORGED aluminum alloy, but are actually CAST aluminum, full of voids, with only a fraction of the strength of the OEM part...and sold as "exact OEM replacement parts".

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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